How to travel safely with your ASD child by car
7 July 2017
Ewa Kochańska
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Is it time for holidays, but you’re still thinking how best to organize them? How to prevent your child from feeling lost in a new environment and new situations and, at the same time, avoid filling your vacation with daily routine? What can you do to make the trip easier for your child… and you yourself? Today, we give you a few ideas about how to organize your child’s time during a car ride and how to prepare them for the trip.

Means of transport are an inseparable part of holiday trips. Never forget that the trip alone is a serious challenge for a person with autism. Try to predict the situations that you might face based on your choice of transportation.

Here are four tips that will help you be safe in a car:

  • Always transport a child with autism in the back seat of the car on the passenger side with the Child Lock on. Children with autism are unpredictable and will try and get out of a car even if it is moving;
  • Remove any objects in the back seat in the proximity of the child which could be eaten, broken or thrown;
  • Never leave a child with autism alone in a car;
  • Always ensure the car is locked when in the driveway and the keys are in a safe place. If the child will not leave their seat belt on there are devices available which make it difficult to undo the seat belt.

Taken from: https://www.especialneeds.com/blog/seat-belt-buckle-guard/ 

 

How to prepare your child for a car ride?

Above is the map of tasks from our training programme. Remember to colour in the appropriate token with your child each time you complete a task!

You can find the full version of the programme along with printables here!

 

Our last entry covered the activities that you can do before the trip. If you want to begin your preparations for the trip by packing suitcases together, be sure to check it out. It could turn out that you should start packing the suitcases even if it’s still a month before you start your vacation. Nothing raises motivation as well as suitcases brought out to the lobby!

 

Here’s what you can do to reduce your child’s stress during a trip:

  • Provide structure, order, and predictability;
  • Don’t enforce social situations;
  • Keep your child relaxed and happy (for instance, remember to bring their favorite toy and do the important rituals);

 

 What if an autistic child unbuckles car seat OVER and OVER?

Our 4 1/2-year-old daughter is Autistic. We have had a lot of problems with her, but one of the most disturbing ones, one that seems to have no solution is that she unbuckles her car seat OVER and OVER. See: https://www.dailystrength.org/group/autism-autism-spectrum/discussion/autistic-child-unbuckles-car-seat-over-and-over

Here you’ll find a comprehensive guide on how to ensure safety for your child during a car ride. Brochure by the National Center for the Safe Transportation of Children with Special Healthcare Needs and funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety and the National Safety Council:

https://www.preventinjury.org/getattachment/0a34fdf2-a75b-4dff-8629-adaf162dfbbb/Autism;.aspx


Prepare for a trip by car, plane or any other means of transport. We’ve prepared possible scenarios for a car trip. Below you’ll find training programmes that will let you prepare your child for a trip by a given means of transport and organize their time during the trip.